May 18 – 2018 Visitation Conversation

Our May Conversation Group turns our attention to the upcoming regular visitation of New Melleray Abbey in August. As preparation for the visitation (to be conducted by Dom Peter McCarthy and Dom Gerard D’Souza) we revisited the main issues raised at the 2016 visitation presided over by Dom Gerard. We reread the full 2016 visitation card during Tuesday’s meal and also considered Dom Gerard’s focus group comments from August 2017 and the Abbot’s Council minutes from November 2017. Today we shared our hopes and expectations for the visitation. We also gave our thoughts on the question of future leadership of the abbey in anticipation of our next abbatial election in 2020. 

from Constitutions and Statutes
C. 75 Regular Visitation

2. The purpose of the regular visitation is to strengthen and supplement the pastoral action of the local abbot, to correct it where necessary, and to motivate the brothers to lead the Cistercian life with a renewed spiritual fervour.

Conversation Groups (CG)

The purpose of the CGs is to provide a forum where the brothers “come together to listen to the Spirit speaking through one another,” to foster skills of good communication that will promote mutual understanding and trust (Gdlns 2), and to provide the superior with the data he needs for taking decisions with foresight and fairness by the brothers humbly and honestly expressing their views (RB 3)